The Dentist’s Diary – 535th

What a great win that was and in the end it brought about what was our best comeback in the Super League era!!!

It all started with a completely unacceptable first half. However, there’s nothing like getting the fans all depressed before you raise their spirits in spectacular style is there, and from the depth of half time despair the fans were sent home smiling after what can only be described as an extraordinary second half fight back. In the first 40, players who had shown tenacity and heart in our previous three games displayed nothing of the qualities that saw us top of the League after the Warrington match last week. But you can never write us off can you, because if we were dreadful in that first half we were simply amazing in the second when our energy and fitness was tremendous.

It’s a queer old business this sport malarkey and boy can it mess with your mind! Although you think you know what will happen you can never ever be quite sure, however much the odds are stacked one way or the other, can you? I sort of thought we might slip up, because looking back over the years, that’s what we usually do and we know that just when you think your team is going OK, sport will come back to bite you won’t it? Look at City on Saturday and how a series of pretty bazaar circumstances transpired to turn what looked like a pretty safe situation into a very precarious one and then look at our recent home game against Cas when we went down to twelve men after around 20 minutes. Who would have backed us to win at that point either?

Then at half time at Widnes, who would have put money on us having a cat in hells chance of nilling the opposition in the second half, never mind winning? Yet, outcomes are never ever foregone conclusions and in fact sport spends a lot of its time finding new ways to screw the ardent supporter up completely doesn’t it!

I’ve certainly grown very aware of that and so the run up to our trip to Widnes yesterday certainly held a few anxieties for me and if I was worried beforehand then with 30 seconds of the first half to go and us down 22-0, I was pretty anxious to say the least!!

We came good in that second half in sensational fashion but against better opposition there would have been no way that we would have got away with gifting them all those points in the first half. On this occasion we were up against a team that was a bit down on confidence but our actions or indeed inactions saw the Vikings self-assurance comes flowing back and we faced a real hard slog from then on. We operate best when we firstly crunch down the middle and get a roll on, before we open up a bit, but when the sun is shining and the surface is hard and unpredictable, then a team throwing the ball around will always cause us problems, particularly when we haven’t even ‘got off the bus’. We all knew that in that first quarter our defence had to be spot on, which of course it certainly wasn’t.

Instead we were tardy in the tackling department and forced the ball, tried miracle passes and stupid off the cuff rugby and then gave away ‘coach killing’ penalties…. one after another, until low and behold we were 22-0 down and sinking fast. From a sloppy warm up to the final hooter in that first half, there was little for those who attended to be excited about, as they witnessed our usual siege like defence full of holes, our kicking game poor and our attacking ideas limited to say the least.

From an ignominious start it all just got worse and worse and although Turgot got a good try on the hooter, Sneyd then missed the conversion and how often do we say that? Little went right and it was all our own fault. Half’s like that are just unacceptable and smack of the dark, dark days of the Agar era. Too many players were cruising and believing their own publicity and a workman like Widnes team who had nothing to lose, must have been pinching themselves as they went in at half time firmly in the driving seat.

In effect whatever Lee Radford said at half time, an 18-point deficit on that pitch in those circumstances, dictated that by and large the game was up; or it should have been anyway. But well done to the coach because although he denied it afterwards, I’d like to think that there isn’t much paint left on the walls of the away dressing room at Widnes this morning (and Danny Houghton hinted afterwards that they had certainly received a bollocking), because such a turn-around had to be instigated by more than a little gentle refocusing by the players didn’t it?

The second half started a lot better and someone commented afterwards to me that we looked keener as we ran out! We looked to be wanting it a lot more as we played with our ears still burning from that half time ‘chat’. After a great early try we blew a couple more chances, as Turgot had a great start to the second period of play. Rough, tough and yet really light on his feet, he’s certainly going to be a real talent in the years to come isn’t he?

We started to wrestle back the initiative in that third quarter as we retained possession, finished our sets and built some pressure. However, we still made a couple of daft mistakes, but ground on, wore down the opposition, who everyone felt were visibly flagging and then started to take our chances and do in attack what we had been practising all week on the training ground.

We were still chasing the game but stopped chancing our arm so much and built pressure on what was becoming a wobbling defence. In isolation the outcome of that second half was nothing short of brilliant really. For our part the defence stood firm on our line a time or two and the Widnes side just ran out of petrol and unlike in the first half, we recognised that fact and countered brilliantly through Carlos and Kelly. At 22-22 it must have been pretty difficult for anyone to believe what they were witnessing, but then we scored again and superb game management from Sneyd saw us home, as he pinned the opposition back in their ten-meter area from where they had to restart 3 times in the last 12 minutes.

Washy finishes it all off!

When you add to that a timely drop goal that stretched the lead to 7 points and saw the oppositions heads go down it was Sneyd’s cool execution and control that got us home and a late try for the ever dependable Washbrook, produced as unlikely a win as seemed possible just 40 minutes earlier. To come back from 22-0 and post 33 unanswered points against any Super League team is pretty amazing stuff and the magnitude of our come back must have certainly deflated the previously boisterous home fans, who were heading for the exits with 6 minutes still to go.

I have moaned on about the first half and even in the cold light of Monday Morning I think that’s pretty fair, but that second half showing with basically the same line-up was simply fantastic. The one change, as we swopped Connor and introduced Griffin at the start of the second half was inspirational as he scored almost immediately and from then it was game on and we cruised through to another invaluable win. We simply completed our sets and were disciplined and the rest looked after itself. Just imagine if we ever played to our full ability for a whole game.

Yesterday is at present all it’s about really, grabbing victories where you can, so that you slowly build for the business end of the season and as far as that goes, we got the two points which take us onto 19 from a possible 26. We sit second and that in a competition that I think, when you step back, is perhaps a bit lacking in quality compared with recent seasons and I think, for Hull FC 2nd at this stage is a great place to be. Player wise Turgot and Shaul were the big stand outs with Kelly in the second half and that last twenty minutes from Sneyd was massive too. We got two precious points, provided a lot of drama and set a few alarm bells ringing early on too, but in the end it was job done and as we all let out a big sigh of relief, next up it’s the start of our Cup defence!

So to the rest of a very busy week and the injury to Dean Hadley was certainly a massive blow to the player, who was at the time reported to be absolutely devastated. Suffering a suspected broken jaw while on loan at Wakefield, it is a mark of how well he was going there when his Coach Chris Chester lamented the blow and commented that he had been playing, “Very, very well” for the Wildcats. If the injury is confirmed the player who spent Saturday evening at Hull Royal Infirmary, will be in for a long haul, because broken jaws are notorious for taking a long time to heal. However, news just reaching me indicates that it may not be as bad as was at first feared. Let’s hope so and good luck to him anyway!

Well, just as we have two new ‘heroes’ in the team, they appear to be possibly moving in different directions. Albert Kelly has brought a deal of relief across the supporter base, as he signs up for another year when we all thought he was likely to go to the NRL, but now Mahe Fonua who we all thought was settled, is suddenly linked with a move back ‘Down Under’ at the end of the season. Fonua is contracted at Hull until the end of the 2018 season, having signed a three-year deal from Melbourne ahead of the 2016 campaign, but most such contracts have a get out clause just as we saw this week when the contracted Widnes Vikings winger Corey Thompson’s announced that he wanted to return home next season. The Australian, who scored 27 tries in his debut campaign after joining from Canterbury Bulldogs, only signed a new two-year deal in August. However, he has activated a NRL ‘Opt Out’ clause in his contract for 2018 and who is to say Fonua hasn’t got the same condition in his. These are built into contracts in case the player or his family doesn’t settle here, so it may be that we would have to let the player go if he wanted to return to the NRL.

Apparently Mahe hasn’t informed us that he would like to leave the club a year before his deal ends, but rumour is it could even be before that’ It appears that all this talk and speculation has in fact come from stories in Australia which often have gravitas but sometimes are brought about to unsettle a player that an Aussie team is after. However, the possibility of the player departing is I am told a real one. To try and put our minds at rest Adam Pearson said, “We are aware of interest in Mahe and it was always going to be the case that if a player like him and of his age kicked on, then there would be interest from the NRL, we will sit down with Mahe at the end of the season and discuss the future, but he’s contracted to the club for two more years.” However, I expect stuff will be discussed and perhaps be sorted well before that don’t you?

While starting the season a bit slowly, (compared with how he went last year) Mahe is now lighting up Super League, he has certainly rediscovered his best form of late and was at his destructive best in the Cas and Warrington home games. He would really be a big loss, but the Hull Daily Mail have obviously got the inside track and said last week, “Hull are already planning alternatives should Fonua depart”. No doubt they were alluding to the talk of us signing Ben Jones Bishop from Wakey, but if we are to lose Mahe and I really hope we aren’t, then we have to hope that they are right.

Hopeful he will decide to stay but it’s not just money or prestige that is often the deciding factor in such situations as often a lot depends on how the player and indeed his dependents have settled. I guess as they were all close, Mahe and his family will be hearing how Frank and his lot have relocated back to more familiar surroundings ‘Down Under’. However, here at Hull FC, there will be plenty of talking going on, because the Club won’t want another situation like the one that developed at Leeds, when James Segeyaroute decided he wanted out of his deal and the split was pretty acrimonious. I think if push comes to shove and Mahe wants to go, then we won’t be standing in his way should he opt for the chance to move back to the NRL.

Adam quickly moved to ease the fans worries about the club’s ability to handle such issues and asked for some trust when he said, “I think the club have earned the right from the supporters in terms of our recruitment in recent years to have the trust that whatever we do with recruitment we will leave the team in a stronger and healthier position and that applies to everyone here. When players leave we will replace them with someone of equal calibre. The club is always far more relaxed in terms of recruitment than the supporters, because we always plan accordingly. We always have something in place to make sure that whoever departs we will have a better and more powerful squad.” But with Motu Tony departing and what happens next there, I hope our illustrious leader is right!

Regular readers will know that I am always 100% behind my Club and too old now to be anything else. I’m also always pleased when they come up with a way to increase their income because I’m always conscious that income is, above even playing rugby, the thing that guarantees longevity of the team we all love. There is little doubt I know that life in the modern game is a real struggle and so any injection of income is a great thing. However, I’m an aging fan too and as such I always have an opinion, but then again don’t all of us?

I wasn’t that surprised when I heard that Hull FC had launched a new special edition Marvel superheroes shirt for this year’s 2017 Dacia Magic Weekend and that it’s ‘Hulk-inspired’. Let’s face it, even I get the correlation between Hull and Hulk! We are one of just five ISC supported clubs to launch special Marvel-themed shirts for the Magic Weekend, where we take on St Helens on Saturday, May 20.
The other clubs involved are Warrington Wolves, Leeds Rhinos, Catalans Dragons and Wakefield Trinity and whatever you think about the move, it’s a pity that all Clubs didn’t join in with the initiative because with only the ISC backed ones being involved, it all looks a bit messy to the outsider I guess. Saints are to wear a rather jazzy charity shirt and no doubt others have something up their sleeves, but once again it’s a piecemeal development that says nothing for the unity and strength of the game. As always with Rugby League it’s all a bit gimmicky, but even that is not done properly across the game.

The kids will love the superhero strips and ours will I’m sure be snapped up, so well done to the Club for that, as long as it keeps us going that’ll do for this fan! As for my views, well, I won’t be getting one because quite frankly however much affection I have for the FC, I’ll look a real dick in it; but I get the initiative just the same. Whether my Dad would have agreed with including the colour green in any Hull FC shirt is very debatable indeed as well, but times change I guess and we have to move on. I bet Rovers are wishing they were taking part and there is a deal of conjecture as to which Super Hero their fans would be best suited to. On Friday night in the pub it appeared that ‘Bananaman’ or ‘Bin Man’ were the favorites!

There was a great article in the Mail last Thursday which explored the phenomenon that is the number of youngsters that suddenly seem to have progressed through the ranks to be on the verge of the FC first team. With young hopefuls like Jez Litten, Brad Fash, Masimbaashe Matongo, Jansin Turgut and Jack Downs joining the more advanced local players such as Josh Bowden, Chris Green, Jamie Shaul and also of course Dean Hadley (who was ripping it up on loan at Wakefield until he got injured), it appears that Pearson’s promises of three years ago, about building a Hull based team made up of local ‘stars’ have become a reality and we do now have a core of local born players proud and indeed more importantly good enough, to play first team rugby. Turgot and Fash were great at Widnes yesterday again!

The fruits of all the hard work and belief by Lee and the investment by Adam is there for all to see. Don’t forget though, it all comes on the back of our own Hull FC academy and it still remains to be seen whether the new combined set up under Netherton and Co. will reap as many new players that are good enough to play for their home town club, as our original set up under Lasty and Horney did. As you all know I still think that ‘combined’ exercise is just a guise for Rovers to get young players on the cheap. But what is irrefutable is the fact that it’s no coincidence I think, that when you look at the recent success of teams like Leeds and Wigan, they based that achievement on having a core group of players who are local or have been brought through their club’s systems together as a group and who have broken into the first team almost as one. Just look at the current Wigan set up, they are ravaged by injuries but still keep unearthing young gems from their youth set up.

So, what price the patience and fortitude needed by a Coach and owner to wait and wait for the young players you have pinned your hopes on coming of age? Everything looked a bit bleak following heavy defeats to Salford Red Devils and Leeds Rhinos last month, where exactly did we go from there, with injuries mounting and confidence low? It was a real dilemma and one that a couple of years ago would have done for us, as decreasing confidence and self-doubt would have seen us go back into our shells. But in the three following games the response was nothing short of tremendous. With Danny Houghton out and Gareth Ellis struggling with niggling injuries we had to find our inspiration from somewhere, otherwise a slide down the table was inevitable.

Step forward our young guns as the game against Warrington became a real coming of age moment for them and indeed the squad, with Hull’s bench having three reserves stars in Brad Fash, Jansin Turgut and Jack Downs to complement back Josh Griffin. Despite seemingly looking light on the interchanges compared to Warrington, the three 21-year-olds went through the game error-free, made tackle after tackle and a huge impact both with and without the ball.

One thing is for sure and that is that the ability to bring in players from the NRL will get more and more difficult as the gap in exchange rates and the amount of money in the two contrasting games widens and we’ll increasingly have to look at home for our new players. What of course worries me is something that has haunted our Club for literally decades and that is an inability to produce any backs.

Of all those listed above only Jamie Shaul has made it there, although the forgotten man centre Jack Logan is not included because although full of potential it is an age since we have seen him fit to play. However, in general we have had to import young backs from other clubs as we did with Naughton, Connor and Rawsthorne. Strange one that isn’t it and its hard to reason why year after year it has been the case. Of course some will point to us letting our promising backs leave the Club, but have we? Across the board there are few if any players in any position (with the exception of Josh Hodgson) that have left and gone onto bigger things. Some fans lamented the loss of Lancaster who immediately announced that he had several good offers of playing elsewhere available and where has he ended up …..York! There he joins the Tyson-Wilsons who were also hailed as big losses to the Club when they left, perhaps that says it all really.

The news that Motu Tony was to return to New Zealand at the end of the season had been rumbling around for 48 hours before it was announced in the HDM on Thursday and his leaving is a real blow to the Club. On announcing his impending departure Motu said, “The Wembley win last season is an experience I will remember fondly for a very long time. However, I am hoping that I can still play a minor part in helping Lee and the team win more silverware, before I return to New Zealand later in the year.”

Motu who is relatively young for the position he occupies at the Club, being still only aged 35, initially arrived in Super League with Castleford Tigers from Brisbane Broncos in 2004 but played just a handful of matches before joining us the following season and scoring in both the semi-final and Final in 2005. After leaving us at the end of 2009, Tony switched codes briefly with Hull RUFC before heading to Whitehaven and eventually Wakefield Trinity before retiring from the game in 2012.

He has certainly done a good job recruitment wise and the influx of ‘South Sea Islanders’ he instigated before the 2016 season went a long way to create the renaissance that delivered one of the most iconic seasons we have seen for years. His contacts in the South Pacific led to some exciting signings and in Pritchard, Manu and the previously less well known Fonua and Tumavive, a resurgence occurred which has brought us hope and hopefully laid the foundations at Hull FC for years to come.

So how do we replace him and who will be the next Motu Tony at the Club? Well I hope that we don’t go for a cheap and cheerful fix and instead look to further improve the backroom staff or indeed see it as a chance to restructure the Club. Large organisations that lose key players in their hierarchy often use the opportunity that presents to look at how they do things and decide whether they should evolve to meet the changing circumstances around them. It will be interesting to see what happens at Hull FC and perhaps this shift at the top will see players like Gareth Ellis eying an opportunity. However, whoever comes in, they will certainly have some big boots to fill.

Well, while we are on about team building, it’s that time of the year again because as of the beginning of May, players who are out of contract at the end of the current season are free to speak to rival clubs about the possibility of moving teams for 2018.

Agents up and down the country will be starting to tout their wards around the game both here and in the southern hemisphere and will in turn be receiving expressions of interest about their players. Ellis and Thompson have still to sort something out and Thompson said this week he wanted to stay and was hoping to open negotiations soon.

It’s said that across the game there are several big stars on the open market already, including England full-back Jonny Lomax and Catalans number one Tony Gigot, while the likes of Danny McGuire and even its rumoured the afore mentioned Gareth Ellis are understood to be still deciding on their next move with their contracts expiring in 2017. Things will be happening soon too, because players can now sign a pre-contract agreements, (as Scott Taylor did two years ago and Jake Connor did last year), which is generally accepted to be the first step towards joining a new club. So across the game and at our own club it should be an interesting few weeks.

It was great to hear from reader Jeff Smith who made the trip over to the First World War battlefields this week and particularly Oppy Wood this week. Jeff wrote :-

Vic, Ron and Myself plus Geoff Clark, went on Monday’s Ferry from Hull and spent one day in Ypres where we took in the Menin Gate Service before going onto Martinpuich for the Somme commemoration. Then we went on to Oppy for the 12 noon service where it bucketed down with rain. The Service was however very moving and the vicar braved the rain without an umberella as he read out the names of the fallen. The service began with a prayer followed by the last post and then the lowering of the standards. Whilst the names were being read out there was a wreath laying and then in conclusion a final prayer. We saw the post that marked the spot were the machine gun Jack attacked was positioned, Wow!

This post marks the actual spot where the Machine gun that Jack Harrison took out was positioned.

It was obviously a very moving experience for Jeff, Vic and all the guys who went over there and we should never ever forget the great sacrifice that was made by Jack Harrison, who died one hundred years ago last week and indeed all the brave lads who fell in that terrible conflict. Thanks for the insight and the pictures Jeff, I’m sorry I couldn’t use them all!

Lest we ever forget!

Jeff lays a wreath at the memorial

While I am on reader’s comments my pal Alan Smalley also contacted me yesterday to say, “I have just witnessed a really good turn-out in Sutton for a Jack Harrison memorial service and the dedication of his memorial paving stone, which was held in St James Church. There were plenty of civic dignities, armed forces reps and members of numerous uniformed groups, plus lots of British Legion banners and old soldiers. Club Chaplain Tony Cotson was there but as a “civvie” as there was a full complement of church officials in all their finery leading the parade through the village, and no doubt conducting the service. I heard someone ask for members of Jacks family to take up their position in the parade, I reckon they will have been really pleased with the way he has been remembered and honoured” Thanks for that Alan what a week of celebrations we have provided to the memory of Jack.

The Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull, the Beadle and Civic Mace Bearer head the procession through Sutton.

The Victoria Cross Paving Stone. A lasting memorial for the hero with no grave.

This week, while partaking of a Coffee on Friday morning in Marks and Spencers’ in Beverley I spotted Bill Hadsley who is about my age and who grew up just around the corner from me in Albermarle Street off the Boulevard. I see him from time to time at the KCOM but these days his health means that he doesn’t get to all the games, however we certainly had a great chat about the old days at Chiltern Street School. We then got to talking about the first game we both attended which were both on Bank Holidays. Bill’s was a Derby on Christmas Day in 1959 when we won 11-2 whilst mine was on 25thMarch 1957 when I was still only aged 6. It was then that my Mum and Dad where taking the life changing decision (Well as far as I was concerned it was life changing) to introduce their son to his first proper game of Rugby League. So I agreed with him that I would include that game this week in Codgers Corner and here, from the first ‘Roamin the Range’ book, is my take on that life defining day.

“…… those days of course there were no floodlights and with Dad being a butcher and working Saturdays the games that he could attend were few and far between so he really looked forward to Bank Holiday matches and those over Christmas. It was therefore decided that a bank holiday match would be as good as any to be the first that the whole family attended. So it was that at about 2-15pm on Easter Monday 25th March 1957 with around 10,000 other black and white fanatics in attendance, I made my bow at the Boulevard. We set off from home, crossed the road from our house onto the player’s and official’s car park at the front of the ground and before I knew much about it, I was being lifted over the turnstiles and into the Stadium. This was the first time that I had set foot in the place at the beginning of a game, and it marked the moment when this young impressionable and slightly bemused boy was introduced to an obsession that would stay with him for the rest of his life.

Now before I go any further, I have to say that although my memory is reasonably good as far as all things Hull FC are concerned, it is not that good! So what I have to say about this game is a mixture of the facts I have gleaned from various sources and some vague and misty memories. The reports in the local press I researched years later indicated that my parents had made a good choice and stated that the game showed, “a near perfect display of backs and forwards feeding off each other in devastating style”, no wonder I was hooked by the time we left.

Mum and Dad certainly picked a great game for my introduction to the obsession, and no doubt because of my young and diminutive frame they chose for us to sit in the seats in the “Best Stand”. The seats actually equated to planks of wood, painted green divided by white lines and with a number to depict your allotted space. I sat on Mums knee and probably mused on the fact that if those were the ‘best’, heaven knows what the blocks of seats further down were like.

According to the reports, York was a good side back then and had finished tenth in a league of 30 clubs the previous year. There were some great players in the Hull line up that day, and it was our diminutive scrum half Tommy Finn who took the headlines scoring a hat trick of tries. Tommy was famous, along with half back partner Rowley Moat, for doggedly following the Hull pack around and feeding off the scraps of ball he could get from the big forwards.

Rowley had a great game that day, but failed to get on the score sheet. Turner another long serving Hull back had a good match as well, running all of 80 yards in his centre position to score a great try under the posts. Strangely enough, for a team in good form, Hull started poorly and struggled, showing some signs of nerves by constantly forcing the pass when there was no need. It was therefore no surprise that at first points were at a premium and after half an hour the visitors led 3-2. All of Hull’s 9 tries were scored in the next 50 minutes as our aptly named, ‘Panzer’ pack, which included that day, Mick Scott, Tommy Harris, Bill and Jim Drake, a youthful Cyril Sykes and the great Johnny Whiteley at loose forward, dominated the exchanges. By half time the score was 17-3 to Hull and in reality we never looked back.

As the second half started Turner sent Jim Drake crashing over, and the team then finally treated the 10,000 admiring fans to what they had come to expect at home games, as Hull produced another 35 minutes of exhibition rugby. Hooker Tommy Harris constantly blasted his way through the York ranks whilst there were great performances from Brian Darlington and Ivor Watts, on the wings. The only try I can vaguely remember was one that my Mum constantly reminded me about years later. Johnny Whiteley was her big hero and right there in front of us, it was he who took the ball, swerved around three York players before sending Brian Saville in at the corner. That score was something that I can still see in my mind’s eyes, which is hardly surprising because until the day she died, Mum never let me forget the highlight of my first game. I think if I am honest, at the time I really enjoyed the whole experience but found it hard to understand what all the jumping up and down and shouting at the referee was about! I guess I know all about that now.

The fact that Hull won the game and with such ease and style overshadowed somewhat the fact that a little bit of history was made that day when three ‘Drakes’ played in the same game. The “Minster men” of York had a really good winger called Brian Smith who unfortunately missed out when the car he was travelling in from York got a puncture at Hayton. Smith had no spare tyre and the visitors had no spare players, so in desperation they called upon Jim and Bill Drake’s younger brother Joe, (who was on York’s books anyway, and who had travelled over that morning to watch his brothers play), to fill the breach. Amazingly all three scored too, with Joe getting York’s only try at the start of the game and Bill and Jim running in one each for the victorious Airlie-birds. The final score was 41-3, and I loved every minute of it.

I remember how all my pals at Chiltern Street gathered around in the playground when we got back to school after the holidays to hear about my trip to the Boulevard, they had all like me, been in at ‘three quarter time’ when the gates opened, but never sat in the ‘Best Seats’! It was a great day out for me and still one of my best memories”. The rest as they say is history.

Great days eh?

So that’s it for another week and thank you so much for supporting another Dentists Diary and sticking with it for another week. Particular thanks for some kind comments go to Danny Washbrook’s Mum and also to my good friend Lorraine, Harry B, Brian Chapman and Frank Burnett for their input too. Thanks as well to everyone who got in touch this week about those amazing commemorations especially Jeff Smith, Alan Smalley and everyone else who commented on the Jack Harrison and first World War ceremonials.

So its Cup weekend next up and as Hull FC, the holders, set out on their defence of the Trophy, I hope all the fans make an effort to get to the game on Friday Evening. These early rounds are notorious for attracting small gates and surprise results and its imperative we get behind the lads in a match in which Catalan will be eying an upset. It’s a real banana skin of a game which we simply have to win. I’m nervous already because at such times all eyes are on the holders and the hope that news will be made if they slip up. So we have to be on our metal and what better a time to produce our first 80-minute performance of the season.

Well I’ve done my best again this week in 7 days that have I guess been packed with FC news, its always great to hear from everyone and thanks for your continued support!

Let’s do the Frenchmen on Friday eh?

Faithfully Yours